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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

254
THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM
CHAP.
in the Egyptian Press and in popular demonstrations resulting  not  infrequently  in  acts  of  violence   which none of the leaders had the courage to condemn or the power to restrain.    But it was at any rate^a hopeful sign that for many influential Egyptians, including not only former Ministers who had served in the Rushdi Cabinet, but also some of the less intemperate followers of Saad Pasha Zaghlul, the main issue still appeared to be the withdrawal of the hateful word Protectorate and the substitution for the status of dependency, unilaterally imposed during the war, of a bilateral contract which should secure essential British interests and at the same time recognise the principle of Egyptian independence. Many  Englishmen  and  even  Anglo-Egyptian   officials were not unfavourably inclined to some such accommodation.    The term Protectorate was doubtless  a  very elastic one, but it had to be admitted that no precedent could be found for its use which did not involve a measure of subjugation almost incompatible with any real autonomy such as Egypt would have been entitled to expect even if we had actually incorporated her into the British Empire by formal annexation.    The Arabic word Himaya into  which  the  English   word  Protectorate  had  been translated was singularly ill-chosen, for it is the same word that is used to connote the status of " protected foreign subjects " in Egypt, i.e., of people who are not really foreign  born—not real Englishmen,  or Frenchmen,  or Italians, etc.—but have acquired or inherited rights to foreign protection by processes unknown in any European State.   Those rights, it must be confessed, often have a somewhat tainted origiD, and a good many who enjoy them are not exactly an ornament to the foreign communities they have  joined.    Hence Egyptians  do  not feel flattered by having the same word employed tc describe their new relationship to the British Empire To anyone acquainted with the structure of our Indiar Empire it could not but occur that the native States though distinctly under the protection of the British rajof the State bound down to the functions of a ntrictly constitutional ruler. .If it were